I’ve compiled a list of the 15 most important products that help me through my chronic illnesses. Hopefully you’ll find a couple of useful things you hadn’t heard of/thought of before.
NB: This post is not sponsored
- Emergency Bag
Fill a bag with the things you need most when your health gets really bad. Mine is full of stuff I need for a mental health crisis- I’ve got chocolate, a hot water bottle, colouring books, sedatives, nail polish, a book, a teddy (basically anything that will distract me enough to get me through until the morning.) You could also make an emergency bag for unplanned hospital visits. When things get difficult I normally make a second emergency bag full of stuff I’d need if hospitalised, e.g. toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, clothes etc.
Alternatively, you could just fill your emergency bag with cats, like in the photo.
2. Sleep headphones
These soft headband headphones are perfect if you end up bed-bound for any length of time. They’d also be useful if you struggle to get to sleep and want to see if listening to music would help.
I bought mine from here, but check the reviews when deciding which ones you want to get because there are a lot of differences between them all.
3. Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Another sleep related item- you can tell where I spend the majority of my time! The great thing about memory foam mattress toppers are that it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable your actual mattress is, you can still make your bed feel like you’re sleeping on clouds. I use it for chronic pain issues, but it’d also be useful if you struggle with insomnia.
You can get them for relatively cheap, and there’s a lot of different thicknesses you can choose from.
4. Anatomically Shaped Crutch
If you’re going to be using crutches for any length of time, then anatomically shaped handles are a must. They stop the wrist pain you get with normal handles because your weight is spread evenly across your whole palm.
I bought mine from here. They do some good sale prices every now and again. You can also choose which colour you want your crutch to be- I chose to match my crutch with my hair 🙂
5. Warm Up Scarves and Teddies
These are microwaveable scarves that you can wrap around any aching joints to reduce pain. You can also use a warm up teddy for comfort.
6. Portable Gaming Consoles (Like a Nintendo DS)
This is an expensive one, but you can get older models for a cheaper price. If you’re in hospital a lot, you’ll know that the mind-numbingly-boring waiting times go on for hours and hours and hours. Gaming consoles are a way to keep yourself entertained during the waits and help focus your mind on something other than your health problems.
Gaming consoles are also useful if you’re bed bound for long periods of time or if you really need a distraction to keep yourself safe.
7. Colouring Books for Adults
These have the same benefits as the gaming consoles, plus they’re so much cheaper. You can use colouring to practice mindfulness, if that’s a useful skill to you. Finally, It’s a pretty satisfying feeling when your blank page ends up bursting with colour.
8. Bed Desk
There are a huge range of these you can buy depending on your needs. It enables you to still be productive whilst stuck in bed. If you’re not feeling up to doing anything work/study-related, then you can use it to keep your snacks, drinks and medications close by.
9. Super Long Phone Cable
Again, this is something that allows you to stay in bed and use your phone whilst it’s on charge. *Please don’t buy one of these if you think there’s any chance you’d use it in a future suicide attempt though.*
I get nausea quite frequently and sucking on mints is the only thing that really helps. They’re only small so you can keep them in your bag without taking up too much space.
11. Weighted Blankets
There has been a lot of hype surrounding weighted blankets recently. They are mostly used to calm people with sensory processing disorders. I’ve had mine for a couple of years now and I use it to calm me down when I start panicking. Top tip: the weight of the blanket should be around 10% of your body weight.
12. Dosette Box
If you’re as forgetful as me, you probably already have one of these. You can use it to coordinate your meds, especially if you’ve got lots of different types. It also helps with avoiding accidental overdoses.
13. Travel Mug with a Spill-Proof Lid
There’s nothing more difficult than trying to hold a hot drink in one hand and a crutch in the other. Keep a travel mug in your bag and you can get coffee-to-go whenever you want. Plus, you’re saving the planet and some shops (like Starbucks) give a discount for using reusable cups. If you know you’re going into hospital, you can get a coffee on the way and it’ll stay warm for hours.
14. Favourite Online Creators
These are the creators you go to when you need a little pick me up. My favourites at the moment are Rubyetc and The Awkward Yeti. I’ve linked you to their facebook pages- I highly recommend checking them out!
15. Conveniently Shaped Teddies
Currently, I use an Eeyore teddy to prop my neck up while I’m laying in bed. The space between Eeyore’s head and chest is a perfect spot to rest your head. You could also use teddies for whatever your needs are- e.g. raising up an injured limb.
This post ended up a lot longer than I intended, but I hope it’s useful nevertheless. Let me know what’s in your chronic illness survival list 🙂